Domestic violence or abuse in a relationship is a pattern of behaviors used to maintain power and control over their partner. This behavior can physically cause harm or arouse fear by the use of physical and sexual violence, threats, intimidation and emotional abuse. Anyone of any race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation can become a victim or perpetrator. It can happen to people who are married, living together or dating.  Some perpetrators use children, pets or family members as emotional leverages to gain control over the victim. Victims may experience diminished self-worth, anxiety, depression and a general sense of helplessness and fear. 

“Imagine not knowing if you would be alive to see the next day. Imagine having to protect your children from someone who would hit them, push them and drag them out of the house. Sharon Smith was terrified when she was married to James, as he would threaten her and abuse her to where she thought she would never escape her fear. She felt trapped.”

This is Sharon’s story.